Sci/tech

Online activism may make the difference on Election Day
December 3, 2007 03:13 PM - Peter Lewis, University of Washington

Seattle - More and more, Congressional candidates are turning to the Web as a tool to mobilize their base and build credibility with undecided voters, according to findings in a new book by a University of Washington researcher.

"We're seeing a slow-but-steady increase in Web mobilizing," particularly in competitive House and Senate races, said Kirsten Foot, an associate professor of communication.

 

FDA faces damning report on science expertise
December 3, 2007 02:11 PM - Kim Dixon, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lives are at risk because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is woefully behind in the latest scientific advances and is underfunded for its vast responsibilities, an expert panel will tell the FDA on Monday.

In a 56-page report titled "FDA Science and Mission at Risk," which has been posted online, officials will hear that inadequate staffing and poor retention, out-of-date technology and a general lack of resources mar the agency's ability to do its job.

Greenest Condo in the U.S. Opens in Portland
December 3, 2007 11:57 AM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

PORTLAND - Residents began this week moving into The Casey condominiums, on track to be the first multifamily residential building in the United States to receive LEED Platinum certification, the highest level of green building.

The Casey is a 16-story building with 61 luxury homes in the heart of Portland's Pearl District, steps from art galleries, restaurants and boutiques. The building incorporates a comprehensive array of sustainable features including solar panels, a green roof and the extensive use of recycled-content and sustainable materials such as wool carpets and FSC-certified wood flooring. It also has a host of energy efficiency features including sophisticated waste heat recovery ventilators in each unit that help the building achieve a 52 percent energy savings over code.

 

Exercise may boost brain's natural antidepressant
December 3, 2007 10:41 AM - Amy Norton, Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Exercise seems to increase the production of naturally occurring brain chemical with antidepressant effects in mice, researchers reported Sunday.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, point to potential new ways to treat depression in people.

Studies have found that exercise can help ease depression symptoms, but the reasons for the benefit have not been clear. For the new study, scientists used a tool called a microarray to examine how exercise changed gene activity in the brains of mice.

Natural compound in broccoli could treat devastating genetic skin disorder
December 3, 2007 09:03 AM - American Society for Cell Biology

Washington, D.C. -- The compound sulforaphane whose natural precursors are found at high levels in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been hailed for its chemopreventive powers against cancer. Now sulforaphane has demonstrated new skills in treating a genetic skin blistering disorder called epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EBS), Pierre Coulombe and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore report at the American Society for Cell Biology 47th Annual Meeting.

Commentary: Google's entry renewable energy.
December 3, 2007 08:11 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Google announced last week that it is entering the renewable energy arena. RE<C is the name of the new initiative which deciphered means Renewable Energy Less Than Coal. And that’s the goal: renewable energy cheaper than coal, develop, implement and eventually commercialize for the rest of the world a renewable supply of electricity that would cost less per unit of energy than that of coal. Coal is the world’s least expensive source of energy, the most widely used and of course the single most troublesome emitter of greenhouse gases.

UK scientists use DNA "decoy" to fight superbugs
December 3, 2007 05:32 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - A new genetic "decoy" system could revolutionize development of antibiotics to fight drug-resistant superbugs like MRSA and speed their path to market, British scientists said on Monday.

Mummified dinosaur reveals surprises: scientists
December 3, 2007 12:14 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A partially mummified hadrosaur discovered by a teenager in North Dakota may be the most complete dinosaur ever found, with intact skin that shows evidence of stripes and perhaps soft tissue, researchers said on Monday.

China says moon pictures not faked from NASA
December 2, 2007 11:07 PM - Reuters

The country launched its first lunar probe, the Chang'e 1, in October and released a photo featuring a patch of grey moon surface splotched with craters last week, hailing the mission as a "complete success."

Study: Lead levels below U.S. limits may harm children's brain function
December 2, 2007 06:12 PM - Susan Lang, Cornell Newswire

Cornell, New York - Even very small amounts of lead in children's blood -- amounts well below the current federal standard -- are associated with reduced IQ scores, finds a new, six-year Cornell study.

The study examined the effect of lead exposure on cognitive function in children whose blood-lead levels (BLLs) were below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standard of 10 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dl) -- about 100 parts per billion. The researchers compared children whose BLLs were between 0 and 5 mcg/dl with children in the 5-10 mcg/dl range.

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